Monday, May 25, 2015

Monday, May 25: 2 Kings 10-12, Matthew 13:31-58 by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is 2 Kings 10-12, Matthew 13:31-58

The first thing that stuck out to me was that the Bible is full of just as much blood and gore, mystery and plotting, kidnapping and hiding, as many of the blockbuster movies, books, and tv shows. What a horrible first couple of verses.

The next thing I noticed was this verse: 21 Joash was seven years old when he became king.

I teach Grade 1 and quite honestly most Grade 1 students need help wiping their noses, keeping their fingers out of their noses, and putting their shoes on the right feet. I can't imagine any of my Grade 1 friends ruling a country and all the responsibility that goes with that. Yet, he "Joash did what pleased God for as long as he lived. " It reminded me that God can use us no matter what my age or perceived ability is. 

In Matthew, Jesus speaks to the people in such wisdom to increase understanding of what he was saying. So often it is when something is explained to us in terms that we can understand that things become clear to us. Jesus used  life examples so that people could truly get his message. 

I think one of the most profound parts of today's reading was this:

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

53 And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there, 54 and coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? 56 And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” 58 And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.

Jesus was adored and revered by thousands who came to him to hear him speak, to be healed, and to be fed (physically and spiritually). However, in his own hometown, he was gossiped about, put down, and basically scoffed out of town. Were they just jealous? Was it because of his suspicious arrival during Mary and Joseph's courtship? Was it because the rest of his siblings were so "ordinary"?

Many small towns in our province boast on huge billboards to announce that they are home to certain NHL hockey stars. They want people to know that it was from their town where it all began. Jesus got no recognition like that. In fact, the Bible says that he chose not to demonstrate his miracles there because of their unbelief.

I think sometimes I am guilty of the same fault when I think about lack of recognition. I've been a Christian for as long as I can remember. I don't have a big "conversion" story where God literally turned my life around from obvious sin and rebellion that sometimes I don't broadcast my salvation to others. Sometimes hearing about how some testimonies of conversion are so dramatic makes my life story seems somewhat boring. Sometimes they share how God protected them or demonstrated clearly how He was leading them. Maybe because they are new Christians hearing and learning new things for the first time that they are more receptive and I don't always listen as closely because God has been a part of my life for so long....maybe?? Do I boast on the billboard of my life that God has been in my life (hometown) from the beginning? Have I been more reluctant to acknowledge God in my life because He's been there for so long? Or does God do less obvious and less spectacular miracles in my life because of my unbelief?

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: 2 Kings 13-14; Matthew 14:1-21


Nathan Reimer said...

Good points. I've felt, and still do often, the same way about my life compared to others who have a far more exciting conversion storey. I think down deep it's because I've felt a little jealous and feel like my spiritual life doesn't measure up to these excited Christians.

Instead of comparing myself to others, maybe I should encourage and pray for those others. As well at the same time be encouraged myself to join them in loving God more.

TammyIsBlessed said...

I wonder why Jehu was so careful to follow the Lord, and yet did not get rid of the golden calves at Bethel and Dan.

Do we have a pet sin in our own lives that we're not willing to get rid of?

The age of Joash struck me also, especially since we have a 7 yr old son. Thankfully he had a wise advisor and that he was wise enough to heed his advice.

Conrad said...

A few of the same things stood out to me too:

Joash ruling at 7, and Jesus not honored in his hometown (I also had the thought of hockey players having recognition in their hometowns on billboards).

I also liked the parable of the hidden treasure. Heaven is a hidden treasure. We watch Survivor on tv, and when someone finds a hidden immunity idol, they are overwhelmed with joy and immediately hide it so no one else can find it. Even though they don't want anyone else to find it, they usually are so excited and need to tell someone.

How much joy do I have in our hidden treasure?